Community Action House Update
Dear Community Reformed Church,
I’m writing on Thanksgiving with a note of gratitude – one that I just have to share. Earlier this week we provided our biggest ever Thanksgiving food distribution. It was big. It was efficient. And above all, it was kind – exemplifying so much about our community. Welcoming people in a season of challenge and uncertainty, and providing extra support leading into the Thanksgiving weekend. Thousands of family meals will be enjoyed all weekend long because of what you’ve helped provide. We’re so grateful for you – our community of support – as you have continued to power our service in this season of increased need.
The City of Holland recorded a great 2-minute video – please do watch it here to get a great look at all we accomplished together. You can also see other highlights covered by WZZM here or the Sentinel here.
Here are a few highlights of what we accomplished Monday and Tuesday:
- Served over 1,430 families (over 4,600 people), offering them additional support in a time of crisis and challenge.
- Provided over 100,000 pounds of food (including just over 50,000 pounds of fresh perishable food – fruits and vegetables, turkeys, dairy, etc) in two very busy days of service.
- Supported over 1,430 Thanksgiving dinners around family tables, while providing sufficient groceries for 80,000+ meals to sustain our neighbors over the long weekend and into next week.
- Provided home deliveries to 113 neighbors with transportation challenges. Our partner New Holland Brewery sent a volunteer team to handle 106 of these deliveries!
- 104 Volunteers joined our staff to serve safely together over two extended days, donating over 391 hours of volunteer time. We couldn’t have done this without all this extra effort, and many volunteers also shared that they were thankful to have the opportunity to serve alongside friends, coworkers, and family over the Thanksgiving holiday.
- We partnered with the Holland Rescue Mission to provide even more support for our guests. After they had to cancel their annual Thanksgiving Banquet, HRM partnered with us in this years’ expanded effort, and their staff and volunteers stood alongside our own, providing care boxes filled with household essentials to all of our guests.
- Many guests are relying on us for the first time ever this year. Guests shared their gratitude through car windows; others left encouraging messages for our team. They called and left messages simply to say that they are so, so grateful for what they have received. The distribution brought them so many wonderful items, they emphasized that they feel immensely blessed for this holiday and wanted to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this happen for them. They both wanted to wish everyone here a very happy Thanksgiving.
This effort, like so much we do, is powered by our community. And our entire team is grateful for all the ways you have decided to stand with us this year. Whether you volunteer, pack, and donate food boxes, or donate financially, we are so grateful for you standing with us. Thank you!
Together, we’re facing a challenging winter. A recent study shows just how dramatically food insecurity has increased in 2020. Here in Michigan, our Food Insecurity rate jumped dramatically to 19.1% (from 13.6%); we’re now home to the sixth-highest rate of food insecurity nationwide. And child insecurity has increased even more dramatically, growing 73% to a point where over 25% of Michigan children struggle with Food Insecurity. [More on this increase can be found here.] Here in Holland, we’ve seen that strain on our neighbors, we’ve witnessed families struggling to afford food for the first time. We’re proud to have been there for all who’ve arrived seeking assistance and so grateful for the community of support that continues to power our expanded services through this season of need.
End-of-year giving represents the biggest part of our annual fundraising and helps us prepare for the year ahead. If you’re able, please consider a generous donation this holiday season as we prepare for the upcoming year of challenge and recovery for so many (Donate Online). Recently, we’ve had several donors contribute by transferring assets from their investment portfolio, or by making direct IRA contributions; both can provide additional tax advantages. If you’d like to explore those routes or others, get in touch at [email protected].
Thank you again, for being a big part of our community of support. We cannot do this without you.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving,